Georgia Rau: A Long Road to Volleyball


Courtesy of Troy Benson Photography

Georgia Rau, libero for the girls JV Volleyball team, getting in position to hit the ball.

Gabriela Vega, Staff Writer

Sophomore Georgia Rau has always been a well-rounded student. Having experience in various extracurriculars such as Student Activities, Highlights, Key Club and the Debate team, Rau has learned how to manage her time and accomplish both her academic and extracurricular goals. However, out of everything she has participated in, athletics seem to have a special place in Rau’s heart.

Her interest in sports began at a very young age with ballet and gymnastics. Those two activities helped Rau gain a sense of determination and were the seeds of her passion for sports that would soon blossom as she got older.

A few years later, Rau began to get involved in other sports such as tennis and took on seasonal middle school sports tryouts. Rau tried out for the George Washington Carver Middle School volleyball and track team. Although she did not make it onto either team, Rau turned her setbacks into a turning point and soon began to push herself to be able to go above and beyond the expectations at her next athletic team tryout.

The Junior Varsity team huddled for a group picture after playing a game against Southwest. (Courtesy of Sydney Gilmore)

“I made the first cut, but after not making the second cut, my mom found a club volleyball team I could join. I started with passing, setting, hitting, and serving clinics and was offered a spot on the team,” sophomore Georgia Rau said.

What made Rau really fall in love with volleyball was not only the athleticism; the game’s unpredictability keeps her on her toes and ready for any surprise that may be thrown at her on the court.

Throughout the month of September, Rau has trained with the Gables girls volleyball team after school and has been awarded a spot on the junior varsity team as their libero. Rau has contributed to the team and put in the effort which helped the JV team win three out of their four games this season.

“In addition to loving the game itself, I was attracted to the sport because of the team relationship. Team sports have always seemed fun to me, and I have met some of my closest friends through volleyball,“ sophomore Georgia Rau said.

Georgia Rau getting ready to strike the ball across the net in a game against Coral Park. (Courtesy of Troy Benson Photography)

Whether it is helping out her team when they are in need of reassurance or sharing some inspirational words before a game, Rau is always doing something proactive to make sure everyone is on their A-game.

“Georgia is an incredible leader on and off the court. She is a player that carries herself and her team high. She never gives up and is a very supportive player. We are so proud and thankful to have Georgia on the Gables volleyball team,” Gables Junior Varsity coach Mykaya Kelly said.

Rau has gained many connections through her ongoing journey and is hoping to make plenty more. Once the highschool volleyball season ends in October, the club volleyball season starts. Rau is taking the opportunity to practice at Gables as sort of a pre-season to warm her up for club season.

Georgia Rau, number 25, squats down as she prepares to hit the ball to the opponent’s side. (Courtesy of Troy Benson Photography)

She is now starting her third consecutive season with Miami Wave Volleyball Club. The club has seen her grow from a beginner with little to no knowledge on the sport, into a very experienced and skilled player.

During the club season, Rau participates in many Amaeture Athletic Union tournaments all around Florida, to showcase her skills outside of school and allow any scouts who are interested in recruiting her to be able to reach out and talk to her.

Rau is planning on continuing to play club and highschool volleyball until she graduates and then hopefully taking her skill to the college level. Although she is aiming high, Rau never forgets the hurdles she jumped to get to where she is now and understands the meaning of hard work.

“I would definitely tell new players that if you love the sport, do not get discouraged by being on the bench or not being the best on the team. Everyone has to start somewhere, and no one begins a sport being the best at it. My first season playing, I barely made it off the bench and was definitely one of the worst on the team. Now, I am so happy that I stuck with volleyball. While there is a lot of room for improvement, I know I have grown a lot as a player,” sophomore Georgia Rau said.